SVP, our first birthday, the ghost of blogging yet to come
October 24, 2008
Just got back from SVP, the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. SVP is always a blast; beyond the inherent coolness of four solid days of intense paleo-everything, I get a chance to catch up with my “SVP friends”–the pool of friends, some of them close, that I only see for a few days each year.
This year there was an extra bonus, which was making friends with a lot of paleobloggers that I’d previously only known as e-quaintances. There was even a paleoblogger lunch, which drew a big enough crowd that people at opposite ends of the table couldn’t effectively converse. That’s okay, though. I have a ‘critical mass’ theory about shared meals and parties, which is that they are usually lame unless there are enough people to sustain more than one conversation at the same time. By that standard, the paleoblogger lunch was a flying success. Unfortunately there weren’t any sauropods at the lunch, so it’s not really germane to our purpose here.
However, I did engineer a photo with a subset of paleobloggers that would be fair game, and you can see it above. This was at the welcome reception at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. From left to right we’ve got Haplocanthosaurus (sauropod vertebra picture of the week: check), a disembodied floating T. rex head (it’s an oracle), a mosasaur, Megaloceros, Mammuthus (one of the least stinky of the stinkin’ mammals), and Allosaurus. Oh, and down in front are Julia Heathcote (Ethical Palaeontologist), moi, Amanda Northrop (Self-Designed Student), and Neil Kelley (microecos). Neil is the only real paleontologist of the bunch; you can tell because he’s holding a beer.
Mike drew the straw for our first birthday post, but I didn’t want to let it pass unremarked. This blog started as a joke on e-mail. “We ought to make a blog of nothing but sauropod vertebra pictures.” “Like APOD?” “Yeah, but weekly so we don’t drive ourselves crazy.” Next thing I knew, Mike had set up the blog and registered Darren and me as contributors. Then I posted a couple of times and BAM! we’re a year into it.
At first I thought we’d be struggling to get a year’s worth of material. I even made up a list of stuff I wanted to blog about, just in case I ever ran out of inspirado. I won’t tell you what’s on the list, but I will tell you that there are 27 things on the list and so far I’ve only gotten to six of them. So the outlook is good.
I have no idea how long we’ll be doing this. It never occurred to me after about the first month. If there is a Life Lesson (TM) in paleontology, it’s that nothing lasts forever. No sense getting an ulcer about it. Just enjoy what you have, and have a little fun.
We’ll do the same.